18 March 2012

Springing Forward

It's hard to beat athletic events for displays of intense concentration.  I don't think the competitors are being melodramatic when they grimace, shout or contort their faces and bodies, and focus their eyes, in ways that do not allow for the recognition of anything but the task ahead.

It was especially striking to see on a clear early spring (more like mid-spring, weather-wise) Sunday in a Corona park.

I try not to think or talk too much about teaching when I'm away from it. (Goddess knows that I have to spend lots of time reading and grading papers and tests, and preparing lessons.)  However, I couldn't help but to think of a comparision-and-contrast exercise: between the kinds of intensity displayed by the bocce player in the first photo and Bernard Hinault in this one:

Although my ride was leisurely, the bike that got me there seemed to be focused on getting me there and wherever else I wanted to go.  Track bikes, I think, are rather like that:  The fixed gear wastes little energy to flexing or bending, or to the friction of the mechanisms that would be necessary to allow the bike to coast. This also means the rider can't waste motions, even when riding in the meditative way I was.  

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